Sunday Blessings 176

(1) Root Beer and Hymns with all my faves.

(2) Chatting with my dad on the phone

(3) Hanging out with CT and her girls.

(4) So many people checking in with me. I love you all!!!

(5) Coffee with MH (Squared) and JT

(6) Hanging out with my bestie JT

(7) Texting with JK

(8) Helping KG get ready for her Ordination.

(9) A great meeting with BMN today

(10) Hanging with awesome women

(11) Leading closing worship at the WND synod women’s event.

(12) KG’s Ordination Day!!!!

(13) Coming home to find a surprise package from my Aunt and Uncle. So fun!!

(14) Amazing colleagues and friends

(15) A great day for driving

(16) Fun texts this morning. Thanks SH and EG!

(17) A beautiful family traveling to the states from Australia. It was neat to watch the dad and his son hanging out together.

(18) Some relaxing time in the hot tub

(19) Fun traveling treats

Our Worth

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Worth.” I love spending time with this crew, but life has been crazy AGAIN and I missed our Thursday night Twitter Party this week. I’ll be back soon friends! Check out FMF’s new home at http://fiveminutefriday.com

A double rainbow hangs in the sky. The gloriousness of God’s creation looking back at us. It is in moments like these that I am reminded of how awesome are God is. Of how worthy we all are of God’s love. A simple reminder of God’s goodness!

And then there are other times when we can’t help but question are worth. am I worthy of God’s love? What could I do better? And then I am reminded “You are more precious than silver more costly than gold.” That is how God sees us. We are all beloved children of God worthy of all that God has to offer us.

There are times indeed when we will question our own worth, but God always says we are worthy. Even when we screw up, God still welcomes us to the holy table and to the waters of Baptism where he calls us by name. It is a promise that cannot be broken. God sees us all as worthy of God’s love and forgiveness.

Our worth isn’t wrapped up in a neat little bow but rather in the elegance of God’s grace that God freely gives to each of us. Our worth flows through the waters of Baptism. Our worth is wrapped up in those who bless us and wrap us also in God’s love. Our worth is first and foremost given freely to us always by God. And this worth is shown through the simple acts and signs of God’s love.

Tonight it was that double rainbow that reminded me of God’s promises; that I and all of us will never be forsaken or desolate. God will always see us worthy!

Sunday Blessings 175

(1) Broadway Bean and Bagel with my sis before she headed back home.

(2) Big Picture Big Purpose Group

(3) Zumba

(4) A former parishioner showing up at my house with a nativity she wanted to give me. It’s gorgeous!!

(5) Running into CB at Target

(6) Coke Icee

(7) Talking to BM on the phone.

(8) Finding out I’m rooming with AT

(9) Chatting with KA and CG online

(10) Being able to finally get to the #FMFparty and #SlateSpeak Twitter convos for the first time in a very long time!!

(11) Reading on my patio and enjoying this gorgeous day.

(12) The return of the tv show Nashville

(13) A butt dial from SP that made me smile.

(14) Finally getting a little rain. More please, Lord!

(15) Walking around the Scandinavian Heritage Park and finding moments of peace, calm and God’s grace.

(16) Texting with STM

(17) Coffee and Conversation with KG

(18) Catching up with some of my fave podcasts—Faith in Focus, Brave New Church and That Sounds Fun.

(19) Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way!! So so good!!!

(20) Jolly Rancher popsicles

(21) The Tony Awards

(22) Awesome friends who check in with you to make sure you are ok. I’m so blessed and thankful for each and every one of you.

God’s Promises of Life-Giving Water

“Tara Lee Ulrich, you are a baptized child of God; whatever else you are; remember that you are that; for that is the basis of whatever else you are.” These very words are on a wall hanging I received from my seminary advisor. These words would stare back at me every day as this sat in my office. Now this wall hanging is packed away in a box waiting for its new home. These words are a reminder of God’s Baptismal promises for all of us.

In the midst of my own uncertainty, in these days, I’ve gone searching for moments of calm and peace in the midst of my day. Yesterday I drove to the Scandinavian Heritage Park. As I walked around, I found promises of new life and felt water splashing on me as the wind blew it back onto me. One of my favorite pictures was one of the first pictures I took there. It was a close up of water splashing to and fro. This picture has been replaying in my mind and I find myself opening the photo album on my phone to simply stare at that picture. Something about this picture is speaking to my heart and soul.

Do you ever feel like your well has run dry? Or that all of a sudden it’s bursting forth? In these days, I’m finding that my well isn’t completely dry, but it also isn’t bursting forth either. I find myself searching for the lifegiving water that only Christ can give. The water that is continually pouring light, love and hope on us. This water that almost 38 years ago was poured out on my forehead as I was claimed in the waters of Baptism and given a new name “child of God.”

I’ll admit that in these days of uncertainty, it is super easy to question my own gifts. Yet the truth is that God calls and claims each of us as beloved children. There are more days than I care to admit that I forget that. But yesterday as I stood near the water fall at the park, a light breeze blowing the water back against me, I found myself clinging to the promise of those same Baptismal waters that claimed me as a child of God. Because the truth is that this is something that I (and you) cannot break. It is a promise that is there for all of us.

In the words of beloved author Ann Voskamp in her book The Broken Way, “The warming rain comes delivering life and common grace keeps falling regardless.” In other words, it’s the life giving water of Christ that continually reigns down and reminds us all that no matter who we are, we are always first and foremost beloved children of God. And that’s a promise I can cling to just like water splashing against every fiber of my being. Because sometimes when your faith is shaken, that’s all one can cling too.

Im linking up with these lovely ladies: Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Holly and Testimony Tuesday, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Porch Stories. 

   

What We Don’t Expect…

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Expect.” I love spending time with this crew, but life has been crazy and I’ve missed our Thursday night Twitter Parties. It was so good to get back. Check out FMF’s new home at http://fiveminutefriday.com. 

Do you ever wish that life was full of road signs? Go here, stop here, yield etc!  I know that I do. But then that is the reality of life, things happen that we dont expect. I am in a season of fog, of not knowing what is next. I want to so desperately know what is in store for me.

Now the reality is that it may not be what I expect. God might show up and call me to something completely different. Or God might lead me to a new place. These are expectations that I am looking for. Yet I have a feeling God is going to show up in ways I never expected.

I think of a pregnant mom who for nine months is told she is having a baby boy and then when the baby arrives, that baby is actually a girl. Or the foster dad who buys girls clothes and shows up at the hospital to find a baby boy. Or I think of how many of us expect God to answer our prayers but often God answers them in ways we never imagined.  God has a funny way of doing that, doesnt God?

I still don’t know what to expect is in my future, but I can trust in God; to trust that God will show up in ways I never imagined. Because the truth is God often knows more than we do. God knows what we need and shows us in that very place.

 

Fog

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Future.” I love spending time with this crew, but life has been crazy and I’ve missed our Thursday night Twitter Parties. I’ll be back soon friends! Check out FMF’s new home at http://fiveminutefriday.com

The morning light is overshadowed by the fog rolling in. The fog leaves one searching for clarity; trying to see a clear sky beyond the fog, Fog always reminds me of how often we find ourselves searching in this world.

These days I find myself in the midst of fog; searching to find clarity and to see clearness in what my future will hold. I have often described these days of uncertainty as a vision of me standing on the Emmaus Road waiting for my eyes to be opened.

I have been here before; wondering what is next. But this time feels a little different. This time I find myself overcome by the fog all around me. I am searching even deeper to see beyond the fog; to know what is next.

And even in the midst of the fog, I am doing my best to trust in my future; to trust in what God has in store for me. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.” In trusting in my future, in trusting in your future, God knows what is in store. God has big plans for all of us. Sometimes those plans are clear and other times they are not. Yet God still calls us to trusts in God.

I am still standing in the midst of the fog, but today, I think I might see a little light peaking through the fog. Perhaps someday soon, the fog will clear and my future will be revealed. Thanks be to God

Sunday Blessings 174

(1) Tackling Mt Laundry

(2) Texting with STM

(3) Lunch with FLC staff

(4) Zumba!!

(5) Driving a support vehicle for the hunger ride

(6) Awesome host homes

(7) Baby time with Baby Sophie

(8) Fair Trade Goodies

(9) A great synod assembly–recognizing the new Word and Service roster of Deacon

(10) Hanging with awesome peeps on Friday night

(11) Baby Ian snuggles

(12) Time with my sis

(13) Spending the day with momma

(14) Texting with my fave

(15) Pizza Hut pizza

(16) Voxing with KA and TM

(17) Movie with Ann–we saw “Everything, Everything”

(18) Awesome amazing colleagues

(19) Bubble Gum Ice Cream. I’m an adult but it’s still one of my faves!!

(20) Sunscreen and Aloe

(21) Cinnamon Gummy Bears

(22) God’s love

Sunday Blessings 173

(1) YouthWorkers

(2) A sweet gift from GS and B

(3) A beautiful quilt from our FLC quilters.

(4) Dropping off NPs phone and getting to see and chat with KG.

(5) Breakfast and convo with JL this morning. Thanks friend!!

(6) Mentor Group with PH

(7) One of my church ladies calling because she has Avon boxes and she thought I might like them for packing. So sweet of her to think of me.

(8) Boxes

(9) Getting to see PKN for a brief little bit as he was quickly stopping by to pick up their boat.

(10) Supper with JL and RS. Thank You sweet ladies!

(11) A new nativity for my nativity collection

(12) Zumba!

(13) New cut and color

(14) Lots of texts and messages from friends scattered to and fro.

(15) KH and CH bringing me my forgotten IPhone charger and glasses. Thank You!!

(16) An hour phone conversation with JK

(17) A call from my sis

(18) DQ ice cream

(19) Texting with my fave!

(20) An hour on the phone with CT

(21) Several comments on how my last sermon was my best sermon EVER!!

(22) A beautiful last Sunday at FLC

(23) A surprise call from CN

(24) A call from JL

(25) Being tightly held in prayer by so many. You are all incredible blessings in my life!

A Holy Visit

I am linking up for Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Visit.” I love spending time with this crew. They bring me joy! Check out FMF’s new home at http://fiveminutefriday.com

Isnt it amazing how God often knows when we need to get away and take in some new scenery? Last week, my friend EG and I roadtripped to San Antonio, Texas for a continuing education event. This trip couldn’t have come at a better time. It was just what my heart and soul needed.

The days were filled with learning and hearing amazing preachers. I even got to meet one blog friend in the flesh. (Sorry Carolina, next time!) The evenings were spent just simply spending time with one of my most favorite people. This friend has been an incredible blessing and gift in my life. We have helped each other through some hard times in our lives.

In the midst of our visit, we walked on the beautiful San Antonio RiverWalk. I took my picture standing in front of the Alamo. My friends and I got to enjoy God’s amazing creation at Lake Medina. As I sat on the dock, the sun setting before me, I couldn’t help but breathe deeply and finally relax. This visit was such a gift.

 

The visit ended way to soon. Isn’t that the way it always goes? Yet God knows when we need to return from our visits too. This visit was life-giving; filled with the holy breath of God. I returned feeling a sense of peace and renewal. What an incredible gift!

Sunday Blessings 171 & 172

(1) Talking on the phone with KA

(2) Messaging with MP

(3) Lots of phone calls, messages, etc.

(4) Starbucks Midnight Mint Mocha Frappucino–my new fave!!

(5) A call from JL

(6) Feeling incredibly loved!!!

(7) A call from PMA

(8) Amazing colleagues

(9) A lawnmower to mow my lawn

(10) Roadtripping with E.G.

(11) Time with one of my most favorite people!

(12) Lake time

(13) Chatting with my momma

(14) Watching Brave one night, Fried Green Tomatoes another night, Divergent the next night,

(15) Peace in my heart and soul

(16) Listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber and other awesome peeps at the Festival of Homiletics

(17) Lake time with awesome peeps

(18) A Guest post over at the Mudroom

(19) Getting to hug JP

(20) Watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids

(21) Getting to meet Blog and Twitter friends in the flesh.

(22) Supper–Burgers at Chris Madrids with CG and SH etc

(23) Listening to Yvette Flunder and Otis Moss III–Incredible!!!!

(24) Meeting my blog friend CM and having Starbucks and conversation with her.

(25) Cinnamon Taffy

(26) Getting to hold a baby

(27) A gift from a friend

(28) Lunch with CG, SAJ and AN

(29) Supper with one of my faves and meeting up with a childhood friend who is visiting family here in SA.

(30) Seeing CJ and LA

(31) Safe journey to Texas and back from Texas. Thanks to EG for all of her awesome driving.

(32) A fun welcome home greeting as we got to E.G. and GG’s farm. Lights parade and all!!

(33) Brunch with church peeps

(34) Sweet presents from awesome peeps in my life.

(35) Talking with KJD on the phone

(36) CH’s ordination

(37) Laffy Taffy from RocketFizz Candy

(38) A wonderful week